The lack of packer participation in both the north and south, highlighted that packers had better cattle inventory numbers than was anticipated at the start of trade early last week. The south was probably the most absent of bidders, with only one packer participating in Kansas and only two in Texas.
The better-quality cattle bought in the south traded at $110 late Friday afternoon. Regional packers in the north were the first to offer bids with some dressed bids up to $185. The north bid would drift lower as the week wore on with cash topping out at mostly $113-$114.
As many of readers already know, an extensive fire occurred late Friday evening in Tyson’s Finney County packing plant. For all of those impacted by this fire, the Tyson group, all the employee families, and all affiliated businesses, you are in our thoughts.
As disappointing as last week’s lower market might seem, it pales in comparison to the unknowns in the cattle market in the coming weeks and likely months. The extent of the damage to the plant is not known, but anticipated to be extensive, and potentially with a lengthy timeline for reopening.
The cattle industry will anxiously await to the opening of the board this week to see what impact this terrible event has on the market. One thing is certain, the loss of this functioning plant will impact all aspects of beef production from the cow calf producer through the end user.